It takes fantastic courage to live life true to your core beliefs and values.
The courage it takes to confront your worst fears, tell the truth (especially when your image and credibility are in the mix), and keep taking action that is consistent with what you deem is your destiny can feel like trying to run through mud. Uphill. Wearing iron boots. The kind of courage I am pointing to is not outward but inwardly focus. Everyone has demons and fears of finding out that we are not good enough or that we are stupid or that we did something wrong somewhere,some way, somehow. The courage to go toe to toe with the dragons, witches, and warlocks that stop you in your tracks is awesome. It is a thankless private thing, this raw brave honesty. In truth, it is the only way out of hell…
One of my clients, let’s call him Tony, invested in a company a few years ago that is now in the process of telling all the stakeholders that the venture has failed. As Tony listens to stakeholder after stakeholder tear the CEO and the CFO a new one via Skype his pulse quickens. “This could be me,” he thinks to himself. Tony, like the CEO of failing company, has put all his chips on the table for his start-up–and he his at the end of his (financial) rope. Suddenly, he now has to face, truly comprehend, that his business may fail. He is distressed.Anxious. Worried. We talk. What becomes apparent is until Tony can really consider, that his company may fail, he does not have a shot at doing anything but react to all of the evidence. Do you understand the courage it takes to look life directly in the face and see it for what it truly is, instead of what you want it to be? Think of a time when reality insulted you because you were too busy hoping for better or dwelling in possibility that reality bit you in the butt.
Creation requires courage: the courage to tell the truth and to be willing to let go of your attachment to how you think things should look or what works right now. Tony and I had a ruthlessly honest conversation, really walking out the possible scenario of his business failing: what would he have to liquidate? Who would he let go? How would he return money to investors so that they would be willing to invest in his next company? On the other side of this visioning, we realized that what he had not been saying was that if his company failed he would lose his freedom: he would have to liquidate assets to pay of debts to keep his good name; he would have to work for someone else; and he would still have to pay alimony to his ex-wife. For Tony, he would be a slave in a financial prison never to see daylight. Again. Get the world of it? Once he could surrender to this vision of his life and know that sometimes a set-back sets you up for miracles he could begin to create new solutions that may mean giving up his ideal scene he had been nurturing for two years. We don’t know what the future holds but he no longer has to walk around in fear of loss of freedom masquerading as exit strategy.
Look in your life my friend, and notice where you could practice having the courage to use visioning, strategically, to set yourself free. Here are the steps:
1. Tell the true: This seems simple but mostly we dance around what is actually so or what really is bothering us. Say it in a phrase that really paints a picture for your brain.
2: Vision the Worse: I know that most people affiliate visioning with vision statements and something positive; that’s not this. The intention here is to bring your full creativity to problem solving by confronting your worse case scenario. It is important that you make it as vivid as possible. You are going for getting yourself in the emotional space that you have been avoiding so that you walk right through it thereby loosing its grip on you.
3. Speak the root fear: Once you have faced the worse, you will see very clearly that there was something very personal and private to your own sense of self that was being projected by not visioning the worse. For Tony, it was the loss of freedom (that is what money represents to him); for me is not being heard. What is it for you?
4. Wear the Worse Case: Once you have identified your root fear, ask yourself this question: “So what? If that happened, if I had to work for someone else and had to sell everything, and keep paying alimony, would I die?” And it needs to be that drastic of a question. More often than not, you and I could actually make it if the worst happen to us. When you wear the worse case like a jacket you can put on or take off, it becomes manageable, doable. And you begin to see new openings.
5. Build a case on your behalf: Here is where you get way strategic with your visioning: begin to imagine how you could bring your already proven gifts, skills, and talents to the worse case. By so doing, you are laying new track for your brain to make new patterns of recognition. Considering that Tony could actually live working for someone else, he also knows that he has built 16 other companies. So if he were to have to wear the worse case scenario, that scenario could afford him the time and peace of mind to regroup so that his 17th company would benefit from all of his experience and him working for someone else would provide him with a plausible environment where he could create a company when the investment climate was less risk averse.
When you give yourself the gift of courageous strategic visioning you feed yourself power. You stop walking in fear. Dear friend, where in your life can you give yourself this gift this season as we ready ourselves for a new year?
Thank you for reading and thank you to everyone who has nurtured me and held my hand this year as I began my company. I love you and I thank everyone for reading my posts. I hope that my words are making a difference in your life.
With all the love my heart can hold…